Boom Goes the Dynamite: NCAA Tournament Day FourPosted by nvr1983 on March 21st, 2009
After a thrilling finish last night that made Demetri Goodson a household name for at least a few days, we think the tournament has officially begun. Even being fairly selective, we think there are at least 3 outstanding games today. Here’s a quick rundown of the games we’ll be covering tomorrow:
- 12:10 PM: #6 Arizona State vs. #3 Syracuse
- 2:20 PM: #12 Wisconsin vs. #4 Xavier
- 2:30 PM: #11 Dayton vs. #3 Kansas
- 2:40 PM: #13 Cleveland State vs. #12 Arizona
- 2:50 PM: #8 Oklahoma State vs. #1 Pittsburgh
- 4:50 PM: #6 Marquette vs. #3 Missouri
- 5:00 PM: #10 USC vs. #2 Michigan State
- 5:20 PM: #9 Siena vs. #1 Louisville
A couple thoughts on the scheduling: (1) It’s nice to see the early finish for those of us who have to work on Monday morning and (2) I think the NCAA and CBS might have finally figured out the spacing issue. Outside of the early game, I don’t think there should be any point during the other 2 sets of games where we have all the games at halftime. I’m guessing the NCAA and/or CBS must have hired a bunch of McKinsey consultants at $500/hr to figure out how to stagger the games. Now I’m looking at it without a fancy Excel model, but this looks like a reasonable set-up, which should get the job done, but I’ve been wrong before. . .
12:08 PM: One piece of big news from the morning: Dominic James has been cleared to play today. I’m not sure what kind of experimental medical techniques they have up at Marquette, but that’s a shocking piece of news. I’d be surprised if he could even go 10 minutes today as he was expected to be out for at least 2 months when he broke his foot (don’t remember which bone) back on Febraury 25th, but we will wait and see.
12:25 PM: This game looks like it should be fairly entertaining and competitive. Interesting back story about Jonny Flynn and James Harden. I know the old school guys won’t like it, but with the growth of AAU and all these summer camps I think it should be expected that stuff like that will happen.
12:30 PM: For those of you who questioned my earlier assertion that the arenas looked dead this year, the NCAA is backing me up. I guess it should be somewhat expected with the economy although most tickets are purchased via the lottery well in advance. The 50% in Miami is appalling though. One more thing to remember about these numbers. . .they reflect the number of tickets purchased not the attendance. I’m sure there are a lot of tickets that have been purchased by ticket brokers that have not been purchased by people who actually go to the games.
12:40 PM: As talented as Harden is, I really question his tendency to disappear for long stretches. Is he unable to play hard for 40 minutes or is he “letting the game come to him”?
12:47 PM: Arizona State is getting run out of the gym right now. I wonder how much the early start hurts the West Coast teams here. I’m not sure if any of you have data on this.
12:50 PM: We just posted the next part of our Mascot Challnege. Be sure to vote for your favorite mascots and help him/her win the national title.
12:52 PM: Rihards Kuksiks is single-handedly keeping the Sun Devils in this game with 15 of their first 30 points. Syracuse goes into half with a 41-32 lead. Harden still doesn’t have a point. If I’m a NBA GM, his tendency to do this drops him a few spots on my board.
1:05 PM: Josh, I would think that 1 FG in a game and a half doesn’t help the draft stock of a guy who was the projected #3 on NBADraft.net. Chad Ford has him as his #5 prospect and a projected “top 10” (requires ESPN Insider access) and notes “if he has a bad tournament, NBA teams worried about his lack of size and athleticism could start dropping him on their draft boards.”
1:20 PM: Lot of guys with 3 fouls now. This could be big if someone picks up their 4th in the next couple of minutes.
1:27 PM: Well we have our answer: Jeff Pendergraph gets his 4th and Josh gets the pleasure of watching Eric Boateng play.
1:33 PM: Mark it down. 13:30 left. James Harden decided to start playing. . .
1:40 PM: People are still throwing up the shocker? I thought that went out a couple years ago.
1:42 PM: A ton of contact that doesn’t get called and then Pendergraph gets called for his 5th trying to block a shot by Paul Harris with 10:19 left. Harden will have to take over with the Sun Devils down by 12.
1:49 PM: Josh, I agree that NC State made a horrible decision. Jim Boeheim even took a shot at the NC State AD recently for their decision. He would be an excellent candidate, but I’m not sure if he wants to go back to the ACC after what happened last time. He has carved out a nice little nice in the Pac-10 where he can compete for a league title without all the pressure. I think another issue is that Herb Sendek isn’t as “sexy” a choice as someone like Jeff Capel in terms of energizing a program and its boosters.
1:54 PM: Down to a 4-point game with 6:30 left. I didn’t expect the Sun Devils to get this close. Do they have enough left to finish off the comeback? The Flynn-Harden duel could be very interesting.
1:57 PM: Yikes. 38.9%? Let’s hope we don’t get a Boateng-Arinze Onuaku FT shooting contest in the last few minutes. That could set college basketball back a decade.
2:05 PM: Are we going to a FT shooting contest already?
2:10 PM: The Sun Devils seem to be trying to get it all back with 3s and now they’re in a position because of all those misses where they really do need 3s now.
2:20 PM: I think the games so far have settled the Big East vs. ACC debate at least for this year.
2:30 PM: Ugly start in Boise. 8 points combined in the first 6:20.
2:37 PM: Interesting article in the New York Times today about Allonzo Trier a 6th-grade basketball “prodigy” and the world he lives in. Definitely worth a read (particularly if you’re “watching” the Wisconsin-Xavier game).
2:55 PM: Kansas has opened up a 7-point lead with 11:09 left in the first half, but all of the other games are close. Will the winner of the Wisconsin-Xavier game break 50?
3:00 PM: It looks like Sam Young has brought his “A” game today. To all the NBA execs and GMs who are reading this, do not pass on him in the lottery. You will regret it (unless you get Blake Griffin then ignore my advice).
3:05 PM: What’s this traveling call that you are talking about? I think I have seen it on ESPN Classic, but I thought they did away with that call about 10 years ago. I agree on the Trier article. It’s amazing how much money is spent on something like AAU basketball. I just went through my own recruiting season for something that I would consider slightly more important than middle school AAU basketball and I had to pay for almost everything outside of a few meals and a free hotel at 1 out of 11 places I visited.
3:07 PM: Jameson has been playing very well lately, but they’re also helped a little by their schedule. Looking back on their streak, I see 1 signature win (over a team I wouldn’t expect them to beat): UConn. I’ll agree that they’re probably one of the 5 hottest teams in the country right now, but just wait a few more days before you start planning your road trip to Detroit.
3:12 PM: Slow start from Pitt again today. I expected them to come out on fire after their near-debacle in the first round. Not looking good for my predicted champion.
3:17 PM: I’d have to go with DeJuan Blair because he’s the #1 guy on his team (as much as I love Young’s game) while Byron Eaton is probably only #1A along with James Anderson.
3:25 PM: It looks like the “last team in” Arizona will be advancing to the Sweet 16 (calling the game so early that Billy Packer would make fun of me). Do you guys think St. Mary’s and Patty Mills could have done that with the same draw?
3:30 PM: Sam Young has 20 with 2:17 left is keeping the Panthers in the game. I’m telling you this guy needs to go in the lottery.
3:39 PM: Wow. That was a weird sequence. How was Levance Fields the only one on the court who knew what was going on?
3:41 PM: Huge sequence there. Tied at 49 (!!!) going into half. I’m interested in hearing what Travis Ford will say about that in the post-game press conference. Seriously though, where is the sideline reporter questioning a coach going into halftime when you need her?
4:05 PM: Does anybody think that OK State is winning this game? If not, when do you think Pitt will pull away. I’m thinking the 10 minute mark.
4:20 PM: Pitt seems like it is ready to blow this game open, but can’t seem to hit the big shot. Anderson and/or Eaton need to step up pretty soon for OK State if they are going to win this game.
4:40 PM: Sorry for the delay. I had some wireless issues at my condo. Congrats to Xavier and Kansas for reaching the Sweet 6. Pitt-OK State and Arizona-CSU are still close games. Should be good finishes in both.
4:45 PM: 7-0 OSU run cuts it to a 1-point game with the Cowboys going to the line with 3:48 left. What would this mean for Jamie Dixon if he fails to get the Panthers past the Sweet 16 (this time the 2nd round) yet again?
4:50 PM: Tied with 2:15 left. Fields gets the continuation, but he misses the FT. Two point game with a little over 1 minute left.
4:53 PM: Onions! Fields has really stepped it up in the last couple of minutes. Pitt by 5, but Eaton sinks a pair to cut it to a 3-point game.
5:00 PM: That’s a new career-high for Young. I’m guessing we’re going to hear a lot of “survive and advance” out of Jamie Dixon and the CBS analysts.
5:20 PM: I agree that Xavier will give Pitt a tough game, but I still don’t think we have even seen the Panthers’ “B” game yet. I wouldn’t sleep on them yet. As for the rest of the day, I’m going to take a break now, but if the games get good in the last 10 minutes, I’ll be back. Feel free to leave comments/questions and I’ll respond to them if/when I come back later in this set of games.
6:50 PM: Ok. I’m back like I promised. 2 close games in the last 10 minutes. Who do you guys have in the USC-MSU game and the Missouri-Marquette game? I’m going with USC and Missouri.
6:52 PM: One piece of “news” to pass along. The Wooden award finalists were announced this afternoon. The finalists are Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, DeJuan Blair, and Tyler Hansbrough. Not exactly shocking although I would question Hansbrough’s inclusion since he wasn’t even his conference’s POY (a honor he lost to his teammate Ty Lawson). It doesn’t matter because Griffin should win this unanimously, but it still is strange.
7:00 PM: It looks like we will have 3 exciting finishes tonight. Right now there combined margin in the 3 games is 6 points.
7:03 PM: Tom Izzo >>> Tim Floyd. Not exactly a surprise, but the way they handled big men in foul trouble says a lot about their coaching ability. Taj Gibson is done for the day while Izzo can still use Goran Suton.
7:10 PM: Siena has used a 10-0 run to grab a 2 -point lead with 8 minutes to go. Is Louisville going to be our first top-3 seed (#1 overall) to go down?
7:15 PM: For those of you wondering about Dominic James. . .he has 0 points, 1 assists, 1 rebound, and 3 fouls, but the Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews have had huge games.
7:16 PM: Ugh. Sensory overload here. 2 games tied in the final minute and CBS shows us the game with 6 minutes left. . .
7:18 PM: Tied in Boise with 38.3 seconds left. . .timeout Missouri. . .MSU is going to win because. . .I don’t know I was watching the other tight game in the last 30 seconds. I’ll echo Josh’s sentiments. Maybe I was wrong about CBS getting it right.
7:22 PM: Wow. Lazar Hayward. I don’t even know what to say. . .
7:25 PM: I don’t get it. 3-point game with 4 seconds left and CBS switches?
7:27 PM: Awful finish for Marquette. Is Buzz Williams covering his mouth in an attempt to make us believe that he’s not cursing out the officials?
7:36 PM: Josh, there was certainly some luck in both wins, but a lot of champions have had these type of wins along the way. Louisville is one of the more interesting teams in quite some time. They have to be the least respected #1 overall seed that I can remember.
7:50 PM: Ok. Well not a lot of insight out of the CBS guys. Check back tomorrow when rtmsf returns from his vacation to see what else we have planned. Thanks for putting up with me for the past 4 days.